One of the questions we get asked quite a bit here at Croft Tree Experts is in regard to whose responsibility it is to remove a tree from residential property: The homeowner or the city.

To answer this question in short: It is usually your responsibility as a homeowner to remove a tree from your property.

Of course, like just about anything else when it comes to bureaucratic matters, it’s complicated, and there are often contradictions. In this article we’ll take a look at different circumstances in which trees are removed from residential property and who pays.

City of Ottawa By-Laws Dealing with Trees

According to the City of Ottawa by-laws:

“A tree or other plant, or limb or branch of it, that is dead, diseased, decayed or damaged shall be removed from the property … so as to prevent an unsafe condition or damage to any building subject to the provisions of By-law No. 2009-200, the Urban Tree Conservation By-law.”

In other words, if you have a dead or diseased tree, it needs to be removed. Of course, the city doesn’t spell out who must remove said tree (who pays). But we will.

If the tree is on your property – starting at its base – it is your responsibility to remove it.

Having said this, there are bylaws (and you knew there would be) that dictate how and when you can remove a tree. We talk about that in a previous article. For trees greater than 50cm diameter, you need to submit an arborist report to the city obtain a distinctive tree permit.

What If the Tree is on City Land?

Let’s say you have a tree that hangs over your yard… or perhaps its branches or leaves even hang over a bit of your house. And yet the tree trunk and base are on city property. If this tree needs removal (or even pruning / branches removed), who is responsible for that?

That’s where the city’s responsibility comes into play.

If you were to call us here at Croft Tree Experts, and say that there’s a dead or dying tree hanging over your property, we’d have to refer you to the city and suggest calling 3-1-1 to begin the service request

If the city decides the tree needs to be removed, it’s up to them to remove the tree.

If there are branches hanging over your preparty, again it’s the city’s responsibility to take care of it.

If you are not sure about where the tree resides, at Croft Tree Experts we can help answer your questions.

How Can Croft Tree Experts Help with Tree Removal in Ottawa?

If a tree on your property needs to be removed or pruned, call on the experienced professionals at Croft Tree Experts to get the job done right. With Certified Arborists on staff, we have the know-how and training it takes to remove trees with precision and care. We’ll let you know whether a permit is required, keeping you on the right side of the law. Contact us today to find out more and to book your tree removal or Arborist services.